A Look Back: How GW Law’s Dean Helped Grow The Law School
Dean Blake Morant will be stepping down from his position at George Washington Law in three months, but his tenure has brought a number of improvements to the law school over the years.
The GW Hatchet recently outlined how Morant has helped the law school improve its national rankings, academic curricula, and relationships with faculty.
“After 12 years serving as dean of two prominent law schools during some of the most challenging times in American legal education, I feel the time is right to step down and pursue other interests,” Morant tells the Hatchet. “I very much look forward to teaching and exploring new opportunities to foster legal and higher education on a national and global basis.”
Prior to joining GW Law, Morant served as dean of Wake Forest University’s law school for seven years. In 2014, he joined GW Law as the law school’s first black dean, according to the Hatchet.
Morant has a background in media and administrative law and served as president of the Association of American Law Schools in his past.
Efforts As Dean
Throughout his tenure, Morant has vastly grow the law school to new heights.
He made the decision to enroll fewer students in 2017 to prevent the law school’s US News and World Report rankings from dropping.
“Blake helped shape the law school in a more competitive posture,” Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at GW Law, tells the Hatchet. “I was particularly grateful for his approach to our drop in the rankings. Rather than taking a passive stance, Blake made tough decisions in cutting the budget to allow us to shrink the class.”
Morant has also introduced diversity and inclusion efforts such as implementing a “safe zone” faculty and staff training for LGBTQ and even launched implicit bias training for the law school’s career center, according to previous Hatchet reports.
He also was successfully in helping the law school raise more than $11.5 million during its latest fundraising campaign. The donations mark the second-largest amount the school has fundraised in one year, according to the Hatchet.
Among other efforts, Morant also strived to support changes to the curriculum.
“The dean has been quite supportive, and we put through a substantial change to the curriculum and he has been very supportive throughout, and in that respect provided significant emphasis for change in the law school that was needed,” Robert Tuttle, a professor of law and religion at GW Law, tells the Hatchet. “At least from my perception, that will be his biggest legacy.”
Morant will step down at the end of the semester as he plans to take sabbatical leave before returning as a faculty of GW Law. He says he has faith that the school will continue to grow.
“I am confident that the law school will continue on its upward trajectory and wish my successor every success in elevating GW Law to new levels of excellence,” Morant tells the Hatchet.
Sources: GW Hatchet, GW Hatchet